Friday, December 28, 2012

Kapcon Needs You

Kapcon needs more gamesKapcon has been a staple of the Wellington, and the New Zealand convention gaming scene for a fair while now, and seems to grow larger with each passing year.  It is a great time (you can read about my own experiences at Kapcon in recent years here).  There are many games on offer, and it is a very supportive environment environment to run a game.

So, why should you run a convention game?  The simple answer is that it's a whole lot of fun.  The feeling of having people really engage with their characters, dive into the setting or plot, and bond together over the course of a few hours is amazing.  A convention scenario is one of the purest aspects of roleplaying, a simple story told in half a dozen discrete scenes - and it's a great way to try a new system or published scenario.

That's not to say it always goes smoothly, but the players at Kapcon are usually very supportive, and you can learn a lot from what doesn't work in a 'con game to improve your next effort.

To me, running a game at a roleplaying convention is something that everyone should try at least once, so, if you're planning on coming to Kapcon, why not offer to run a game?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Roleplayers Chronicle Review EPOCH

The Roleplayers Chronicle have just posted their review of EPOCH, scoring it at 9 out of 10 overall.  I have to say, it's a pretty positive review, which makes me think that other folks have been able to replicate the experience and enjoyment I've been having with EPOCH - which is really terrific. 

"EPOCH is epic! This is more than just a role-playing game, in that it is also a new kind of narrative tool with the power to improve your storytelling and role-playing in general. EPOCH is a cooperative game, meaning that the players and Game Master work together to weave a quality horror story. It is a contemporary horror game, but the elements of the game can easily be ported to other genres...
I have been enthralled by EPOCH. This is a totally new way to run a role-playing game and is extremely satisfying. EPOCH is also educational, and the mechanics force a cooperative structure and atmosphere that can enhance the play of other role-playing games as well. Get it." [Read the full review here]
The review also highlights one of the main barriers to initially running a game, namely the number of cards that you have to print and cut out before you can begin. Work is underway on a print-on-demand card deck so that this is not a major problem, so long as you don't mind buying a card deck  -  once you've got one deck, you shouldn't need anything except a horror track for each scenario and some secrets and ballots.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Road Trip

I just released an all-new free scenario for EPOCH on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.  Road Trip is my fourth scenario for EPOCH, and is my take on a fairly classic horror movie sub-genre.  Like all the scenarios to date I tried to make it an inclusive framework for the stories of the characters, that is; flexible enough to match their decisions and provide a context of escalating stress and tension without being overly prescriptive, while also having enough story and depth for the characters to explore if they want (within a single session).

My thanks to Doug for the fantastic art, Andrew Smith for the editing work, and all the playtesters for providing such a memorable playtest.

On a more pragmatic note, 4 scenarios written by me seems like it might be a lot.  I have lots of ideas for other scenarios, and I’d like to see EPOCH scenarios branch out to other settings (certainly a sci-fi and World War 1 or 2 setting at least) but I’d like to get some sense that the scenarios are of some value, and being used by others.  I’d also like to broaden the gene pool a bit and have some other folks write scenarios.